Among them was Peter Wright, the Calder Cannons key forward who was tipped as a likely top 10 draft selection throughout the 2014 TAC Cup season.
The 18-year-old had always watched the trade period as a fan, but this countdown had more riding on it than previous years.
“There were a lot of picks getting exchanged, so I was just trying to keep track of who had early picks,” Wright said.
“I’ve always watched it in the past, but it held a bit more weight this year with what could happen.”
Wright’s presence across half forward was a key factor in Calder’s progression to the TAC Cup grand final.
He finished the season with 32 goals from 13 games, along with several eye-catching performances for Vic Metro during the Under-18 National Championships.
Plenty have tried to buy in to the hype surrounding the player that has affectionately become known as “two-metre Peter”.
But the 203cm forward-cum-ruckman has tried to focus purely on his football.
“Every person tries to put in their two cents and has their own different point of view,” he said.
“I tried not to look too much into it, especially during the second half of the season.
“I just focused on my footy and … I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting my name read out.”
The Moonee Valley junior formed a lethal combination with the TAC Cup’s leading goalkicker Jayden Foster this year.
But the Travancore resident spent most of the season being closely compared to another rising star, Geelong Falcons powerhouse Patrick McCartin.
The pair have different approaches to their game inside attacking 50, but are widely considered the best tall forward options available.
Wright said he had recovered strongly from the knee injury that cost him a place in the grand final.
AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan said any club who drafted Wright would acquire a rare talent.
“We’ve seen the terrific games he’s had both as a key forward and a ruckman, they’re as a rare as hen’s teeth,” Sheehan said.
“The club would need to be quite patient as it’s quite natural with the taller boys to take a couple of years.”
Having met about 10 clubs outside his AIS-AFL academy commitments, it remains unclear where Wright’s football future lies.
But like most aspiring talents, the Maribyrnong College student is happy to head anywhere in Australia to fulfil his AFL dream.